The greatest challenge to Grace is the tendency to reconstellate around the notion that “I have to do it.” The part of you that feels this inner pressure — including the pressure to understand ego relaxation — is the one who is asked to relax. I unpack this more in Chapter 3 of ‘The Way of Grace‘. For now, remember that the way of Grace is not about making your ego enlightened. Rather, it is relaxing out of your ego construct as an ongoing process. You cannot force it, but you can engage the practice. You can learn to yield to a power deeper than your mind. The more you give up to Grace, the more you feel the loving support moving you to further surrender. Rumi describes it this way:
Somehow, fear falls away, and Grace has its way with you.
You might ask, “If awakening ultimately happens by Grace anyway, what is my participatory role?” Essentially, you only ever have two choices: to let go or not to let go. The former opens you exponentially to a life of beauty and possibility; the latter just makes you suffer. It usually makes everyone around you suffer also. Yet even this question arises from the perspective of the ego. The more you practice ego relaxation, the more surrender just starts to take place. You naturally
become more open and less defensive; your crunchy habits become less dense, or at the very least, you don’t take your personality so seriously.
When true surrender actually happens, it feels very graceful. Like “you” are not “doing” anything. Ultimately, nobody really surrenders because there is no one to surrender. Surrender is really a bridge that helps make the transition from identifying as a separate someone to remembering you are in and part of the infinite ocean. The more you engage the practice of ego relaxation, the more you will see that there is something luminous inside, underneath your familiar “me,” and it knows the way. Grace emerges, bringing the wisdom you need for precisely what life is serving up right now.
I do not ask you to take my word for it. When Jesus was asked by his disciples, “Where do you abide, Master?” he did not answer with a geographic location as we might if asked where we live. He responded with an invitation to “come and see.” The Ego Relaxation Teaching and Practice below which is part of my Deepening your Meditation Practice program can help you begin to experience the transmission of ego relaxation. This is the foundation for many of the other meditations we engage in on this journey. Embrace it as a daily practice, as an entry into peaceful abiding.
Take that true vacation from unnecessary stress and struggle often! Click here to find out more about this practice.